Sometimes We Have To Go Off The Grid For Awhile – Not An Excuse But A Reality.

I want to apologize for this past year not keeping in touch with posts. I know together we are all stronger.

I also know that no one is more understanding that sometimes we “fall off the grid for awhile” than another Mom who has an adult child struggling with the disease of addiction.

We try to fit everything that is important in but sometimes it seems we just do not have that extra moment. Not an excuse by any means but a reality. And it became my reality like it may have been the reality for many of you as well. And we do whatever we can to help and support those we love but we have no power to change their choices.

When we all felt the affects of the pandemic and support meeting had to go online for many – there was an isolation that so many people felt. For many of you, those in person support meetings were a lifeline. That personal connection. That hug at the end of a meeting was put on hold and for many the feeling of isolation lead to loneliness.

We as Moms or aunties, sisters, partners were affected and many affected were those struggling with the disease of addiction.

Many of our loved ones struggled with relapses. Many struggled with the lack of available services and resources. And we started to see numbers of overdoses and deaths in numbers not previously seen. People were using alone. We thought it couldn’t get worse than when fentanyl entered the supply chain in 2016 and drug poisoning deaths were happening at epidemic levels. But it did get worse. Much worse.

When the borders shut down the supply of drugs changed. The supply was literally toxic. It was poison. No one knew what they were getting and that hasn’t changed to this day. Benzodiazepines (benzos) were being added to opioids and Naloxone (Narcan) has no affect against benzos. Naloxone reverses the affects of the opioid if given quickly enough but has no impact on the benzos.

At one time we could administer one or two doses to reverse an overdose. That is rarely the case anymore. Often it is three, four or five along with CPR. I have reversed 72 overdoses to date and I am just one person. There are thousands of first responders doing that. We are in a health crisis.

My son like so many struggling with opioid addiction have gone through detox for opioids many times in the past. They know what to expect. They know what the ten days of opioid withdrawal would feel like. It was going to be horrible but they knew what to expect.

Withdrawal from opioids laced with benzodiazepines is totally different. It is dangerous. And monitoring has to be exceptional. And I believe that everyone buying opioids today is buying them laced with benzos. It is in everything being sold. And it is extremely difficult to detox.

I work in the shelter system. I am with other Mother’s sons and daughters every shift. As Mom’s you know your adult child’s behaviour has changed. It is much more unpredictable. Things can go from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds. That is the affect of the poisoned drug supply and brain function.

I know when a night is going to be difficult. When I see the change in someone’s typical behaviour. You know something different is in a batch being sold on the street. And the tragedy is that people struggling with mental illness along with their addiction are suffering all the more. Their behaviours can be more erratic. They can be dangerous. One night a co-worker and I got bear maced by someone who on any other night would not have done that to us.

It was painful. It was very difficult to take a breathe in without choking and throwing up. But it wasn’t personal. And I didn’t take it as a personal attack. He wasn’t himself. What he had taken affected his mental illness and he became aggressive. Behaviour becomes unpredictable. You may be seeing that with your own loved one.

I know we are hearing more and more situations of violent outbursts from people struggling with mental illness along with their addiction. And I truly believe it is the result of the poisoned drug supply.

I hand out harm reduction supplies that are clean and sterile. Syringes, pipes, tubes, foil to those who ask. Those sterile items reduce the harm caused from using contaminated supplies that have been shared. But the problem is the poisoned drug supply.

The problem is that when our loved ones ask for help they go on a waitlist for three or four weeks. What other potentially fatal disease is there where we would tell a person ‘we’ll put you on a waitlist and hopefully we can help you in 3 or 4 weeks’.

That is not okay. That should never happen. But it happens every single day. One day delay can be one day too late. Tragically far too many of you Mom’s know that reality. We have to do better. We must keep fighting for change. You are the change makers. If change is going to happen it is because you Moms, aunts, partners are doing everything you can to keep the pressure on.

We need to have immediate access to help when someone struggling with addiction or addiction and mental health issues asks. We need hundreds of detox beds available now. Today. We need hundreds if not thousands of treatment spaces available immediately. But we know that isn’t going to happen. And that is a tragedy.

Sending sick people to jail only causes more pain and suffering for them. More trauma. More isolation. We have to treat the CAUSE of the behaviour. Not wait and then PUNISH the behaviour. They deserve to be treated for the cause of the pain. And it needs to be immediate.

They deserve that help and so do those of us who love them.

I am going to send off two posts today. This one and a copy of the one I posted last Mother’s Day. After re-reading it I feel the exact same sentiments about the wonder of Moms. The wonders of all the women who have stepped up when they were needed. I hope you will all read that post again. There is no greater force of nature than a Mom fighting to save the child she loves with every fibre of her being. Or the Mom who tragically has lost her beloved son or daughter and is one of the change makers.

Take care of yourselves. You are in my thoughts. In my heart.

Much love to you all,


One thought on “Sometimes We Have To Go Off The Grid For Awhile – Not An Excuse But A Reality.

  1. Linda Eagland

    Hi June
    Hope you are doing well and life is a little easier right now. Think of you a lot !
    Still advocating & signing petitions although the changes seem slow and really not impacting the situation. So frustrating!! But I will not give up advocating for more change, better treatment centres and supporting those who need it.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you- super Mum ❤️Linda

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